By Pat E. Perkins
My project and program management background taught me a lot over the years. One exercise that I consistently did during my corporate years was a “Lesson Learned”. Often, one will move forward from project to project not reflecting or just asking “how did that go“? You know how it turned out; but, what if the outcomes were reviewed for improvement? What if, as you are developing the process manual, a few things were literally tweaked before going forward?
So, during this time each year, I actually perform a Lessons Learned in my life and in my business. I use an exercise called: Stop, Start and Continue. This model was not created by me as it’s been around for some time and used by many.
Here are a few simple steps to help you incorporate this model in 2013:
#1: Stop – What will you stop doing? –
What’s simply not working? What under-performing or dis-empowering habits are you willing to reduce, let go of or eliminate completely in your life, your business or career. What’s been unproductive for you or your team and/or what can be delegated to someone else. This new thinking can generate more time, more freedom and less stress. In what ways did you learn from these activities or scenarios that caused you to elevate and yet they have served their purpose. Also, what relationships will you ultimately put to rest…this is a big one!
#2: Start – What will you start doing? –
What new idea’s time has come to incorporate? Where do you know what to shift your energy and focus to fulfill on a dream or outcome? What’s important to provide to your audience, clients or customers in the coming year? Who do you desire to include in your life or how will you start to expand your network? And, are there new areas of training and development you want to begin to add to your toolkit.
#3: Continue – What will you continue doing?
– What’s really working well and where have you been successful? Are there processes, systems and structures that continuously make a difference for you? Who are the people in your life including friends and connections that actually serve you, celebrate and lift you up? What could you not do without?
Use this model individually, in partnership or in a group discussion format.
You’ll reap the benefits of consistent process improvement overall.
The bottom-line: It’s critically important to reflect on your outcomes throughout the year and review opportunities for transformation.
“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” ~Margaret J. Wheatley